Four more doctors implicated in German doping affair

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A doping investigation initially targeting two University doctors has now snared four more, albeit on lesser charges, according to German public prosecutor Wolfgang Maier.

Maier has confirmed a report in the Badischer Zeitung newspaper, which claimed four other doctors have been actively investigated in the case.

Maier did not reveal names but told the SID agency they faced lesser charges to those of Lothar Heinrich and Andreas Schmid, both of whom were sacked two years ago for helping administer doping substances.

According to the newspaper report the four doctors are Andreas Blum, Stefan Vogt, Stephan Prettin and Carsten Temme.

In 2007 a former cyclist with the German team T-Mobile (formerly Telekom) claimed that German doctors Heinrich and Schmid helped organise systematic doping in the team.

Those claims led to their sacking by their employer, the University Hospital Freiburg - the most reputable in Germany for sporting medicine, with most of the country's top athletes under the care of their doctors.

A team of independent experts concluded earlier this year following a two-year investigation that doping was systematic at T-Mobile and Telekom from

1995 to 2006, during which time fallen star Jan Ullrich won the Tour de France, in 1997.

A magazine report earlier this year accused former T-Mobile riders Andreas Kloeden, who now rides for Astana, and Matthias Kessler, who was sacked by Astana in 2007, of using testosterone and doping products.

Both went to FreiburgUniversity to have blood transfusions on July 2 2006 along with team-mate Patrik Sinkewitz, who later made his confession to a German Cycling Union (BDR) inquiry, the report claimed.

In July 2007, disgraced rider Patrik Sinkewitz was fired by T-Mobile after a test revealed he had abnormally high levels of testosterone and he later admitted using a banned gel and using banned blood-booster EPO as well as having had blood transfusions.

© AFP 2009

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